The Home Maintenance Task You'll Want To Knock Out First Thing This Spring

A home's windows can experience a lot of wear and tear during the winter. Cold air can impact window materials and cause the caulking around window frames to expand outward, leading to breaks and cracks. This allows more air to get in and can cause drafts while reducing energy efficiency in your home. Moisture from snow, ice, and rain may also get into the home through these cracks. To prevent these issues, consider checking and recaulking the interior and exterior of your windows while spring cleaning. Caulking your windows will allow them to stay as energy-efficient as possible and will keep heating and cooling bills low. It will also help prevent moisture and mold issues.

Window caulk will last five years on average, but its lifespan could be shorter depending on the environmental and temperature conditions around your home. It's wise to inspect the caulk every year or two to ensure that it's in good shape. Cracking, peeling, discoloration, drafts in the home, higher energy bills, window rattling, windowpane condensation, and moisture around windowsills and windowpanes are all signs that your window needs to be re-caulked. It's necessary to reapply now and then to maintain your home's energy efficiency, and as a result of reapplying caulk to your windows in the spring, your home will maintain its temperature more easily. It will stay cooler in the summer, causing less warm air to get in and less cold air to escape.

How to recaulk your windows in the spring

If you've inspected your windows and determined that you need to reapply caulk, the process is fairly simple. To caulk your windows, it's best to use both hands. You'll need to hold a caulk gun with one hand while pulling the trigger. Your other hand will be used to guide the gun's tip along the sides of the windows. 

When caulking, you'll need to move steadily and apply the caulk to the window gaps with precision. If you apply enough, the caulk should make contact with the window frame as well as your home's walls. If you have a difficult time staying steady while caulking, then you may want to consider buying a powered caulk gun. A powered caulk gun allows for better control and precision and can help you stay on target more easily.

Remember that preparation is key when caulking your home's windows, so be sure to choose the perfect caulk for the job. Different types serve different uses. Siliconized latex caulk is generally the best choice for exterior windows and offers a lot of durability while also being paintable. Before starting the caulking job, make sure to also remove old caulk from your windows. Adding new caulk over broken and tattered caulk won't be stable and won't seal properly.

Other ways to prepare your windows for spring

Checking window caulk should be part of your annual spring cleaning routine, but there's a lot more that you can do to keep your windows in good shape. Cleaning the windows both inside and out will extend their life and help keep your home looking amazing. You can clean your windows with a simple solution of dish soap and water to remove dirt, grime, and smudges that are present. Another alternative is to use a combination of water and vinegar solution. Adding 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water will work well for keeping your windows clean and sanitized.

It's also wise to clean and lubricate your window tracks as well. These can wear out over time, and when they do, it will become more difficult to open and close windows. Also, pay attention to window screens. Check and clean dirty window screens and replace any damaged screens you come across so that bugs can't enter your home through holes and tears. Finally, spend some time checking and cleaning curtains during your spring cleaning as well. Make any curtain replacements that are necessary to ensure your home looks its best.